This translated German log outlines the contribution of the 9th E-boat flotilla. Signed by Baron von Mirbach, Lieutenant Commander and OIC of 9th Flotilla. Abbreviations: OIC (Officer in Charge) E-boats = F.d.S. = Führer der Schnellboote S147 etc = German designation of the E-boats Transcription
German E-boat Logs
Contribution of 9th E-boat flotilla
27th April, 1944
Course changed to 335 degrees, 34 knots.
Radio telegraph message received from OIC E-boats: “Radio fix target square 2398 bottom right corner.” Almost reached position, sailed around it briefly, nothing sighted.
28th April, 1944
Brief brilliant light at 70 degrees. In retrospect it was probably the torpedo hit of the English destroyer by S138.
Crossed convoy path at W.
Crossed inner line.
Stopped in square 2364 bottom left.
Continued operations to northeast until 0150h. Since no reports on convoy received from other pairs, intention advance toward southwest in order to approach convoy if stopped there. Operated until 0113 with southwesterly courses at 34 knots.
Short signal received from S140: ‘Convoy north of Z, 7 naut. mi.” Maneuvered toward that position with course 70 degrees, 34 knots.
To 24 knots. Received machinegun fire from 40 degrees. Assumed enemy, due to red tracers. It was determined afterwards to be from S140, which was attacking rear units of convoy with 4cm fire. Our flotilla was unaware that the 5th E-boat flotilla was still using red tracers. It seems imperative that all our ships be uniformly equipped with yellow tracer ammunition.
Shadow at 90 degrees. Torpedo attack prepared. Slowly went to 65 degree course and made out convoy with southerly course.
Short code message no. 55 sent: “Convoy path square 2365 center, southerly course.” Torpedo attack unfortunately somewhat from behind target. Therefore coordinated attack of S150 and S130 on a steamer. S145 attacks smaller units bringing up rear.
Double shot with settings speed 7, position 110 degrees, angle of deviation 3. Hit after 2 minutes 27 seconds running time, possibly by second torpedo.
The steamer immediately goes up in bright flames and is taken to be a tanker for the time being. After underwater telephone command both partner boats fire almost simultaneously with lead boat. Enemy does not undertake any defense, so I can start a second pass from the south.
Again double shot at a steamer. S130 has difficulties reloading the torpedos and is not ready yet. Now S145 attacks two smaller landing craft of about 200 tons. After about 56 seconds running time both of S150s torpedos hit. Steamer also bursts into flame immediately. Despite sharp avoidance maneuvers by the landing craft S145 hits on of them in the stern with a shallow running torpedo and receives heavy random defensive file. The sinking of the vessel, which is about 200 tons, cannot be observed and is furthermore unlikely. From the point of view of firing technique I consider this one of the most capable of all the attacks.
After unhindered observation of the sinking of both the burning steamer and the one from the first pass, retreat under random defensive fire.
Short code message no. 58: “Convoy square BF 2368, course south.” During both runs underwater telephone contact with first pair 5th E-boat flotilla.
On southerly course, to pass by once more and deploy S130s last two torpedos.
Heavy defensive fire from convoy, apparently by destroyer on first pair of 5th E-boat flotilla. Since returning pairs have reported several destroyer patrols in the middle of the Channel and the OIC E-boats have indicated the same off the Channel Islands, I consider return advisable. S145 lost contact on the second run, but maintains underwater telephone contact.
Order to return sent to S145 by short code message. Return course set eastwards of the destroyer group reported by S140 in square 2389.
Square 2398 destroyer from the east.
Short code signal sent: “Destroyer square BF 2398.” During approach flare and surface fire. Four landing craft sighted in the southeast.
Enemy landing craft in square BF 2397, course eastwards.
Destroyer commences heavy fire on one of the landing craft, which makes it clear to me that it is not part of a landing unit, since the destroyer apparently knew nothing of their presence in this area. Instead, I believe that these landing craft are much more likely to be part of a training squadron which got separated. Continued return with a general course of 200 degrees. S145 is located somewhat to the west and runs into a destroyer in square BF 2385 at 0312h. Briefly under fire, sends short code message no. 67.
Course 150 degrees towards Casquets, which I intend to pass to the south.
Casquets visible port abeam. Return continues south of Casquets.
Met second pair 5th flotilla near Cap de la Hague.
Entered Cherbourg jetty.
S145 entered Cherbourg jetty.
28th April, 1944
Retrospective evaluation of the evidence shows that the convoy attacked was a landing group of which one 4600-ton and one 3000-ton LST were sunk and one LCT landing craft was torpedoed. After evaluation of the torpedo records, I attribute the 4600-ton LST to S150 and S130, the 3000-ton LST to S150, and the 200-ton landing craft to S145.
Baron von Mirbach
Lieutenant Commander and OIC of Flotilla (9th).